MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) –Following this weekend’s flooding that caused county-wide damage, McLean County declared an emergency.
County Board chairman John McIntyre issued the declaration and it will be in effect for the next seven days.
McIntyre said the purpose of the declaration is to get accurate assessments of damage across the entire county. It’s the first step in potentially securing state or federal funds for those affected by floods.
The severe storms which tore through McLean County June 25-27 left flash flooding and damage to roads, houses, and other pieces of property. Vice-Chairman of the County Board Jim Soeldner said they have to meet a certain threshold to qualify.
“The problem is, it sounds like McLean County has to got to come up with about $20 million, which sounds like a lot of money and is a lot of money, but I also know there’s been a lot of damage,” Soeldner said.
Soeldner said the more than 10 inches of rain left damage in urban areas as well as rural areas, like the ones he represents in the county.
“I actually had a small businessman that’s a vegetable producer [say] that if he can’t get some relief, he may need to lay off seven to nine people,” Soeldner said.
The declaration gives county officials one week to assess damages across the county to then be assessed and reviewed by the Illinois Emergency Management Association (IEMA). State Rep. Dan Brady said his office is working hand-in-hand for his constituents.
“We have been in contact with county officials and IEMA officials since Sunday,” Brady said.
Brady said this is the first step, but it’s ultimately up to IEMA.
“They are going to be the ones that would make a decision as to what type of funding assistance; there may be emergency assistance from the state and/or can the Governor execute an option for any other type of disaster,” Brady said.
If the declaration needs an extension, McIntyre would have to bring that resolution in front of the entire McLean County Board.